Cuadrilla has decided to submit a new planning application to cover the flow testing of the horizontal oil exploration well at its site at Lower Stumble, Balcombe. The new application will cover the same well testing that is in the currently permitted activity but will include revised planning boundary lines showing the extent of the horizontal well being tested. It will not include additional drilling or any hydraulic fracturing.
Our original planning application was approved in 2010 with a boundary delineation covering the surface drilling site area.
Our decision to make a new application for the well testing activity, rather than an extension of previously approved activity, is to resolve any potential legal ambiguity around how the planning boundary should be drawn for a subsurface horizontal well.
As this is a new planning application, the County Council will consult with interested third parties and we will have the opportunity for further engagement with Balcombe residents about our well testing plans.
We will continue doing all we can to conclude our exploration work in a safe, responsible and timely manner.
We have written to Balcombe residents to inform them of these changes: that letter can be downloaded here.